Sunscreen lotion might be quite continental, but peanut butter is a backpacker’s best friend. No, I don’t mean rhinestones. On crackers, on toast, on bagels, on rice, as a savoury or a sweet treat, peanut butter comes in all shapes and sizes… just like the best of psychos. This versatile spread – PB not violent mentally-disturbed people – is the perfect staple food on the trail as it doesn’t need refrigeration, it comes in travel-size packages and it’s an excellent source of nutrition.
Here are a few reasons why diamonds – no, peanut butter – PEANUT BUTTER is a backpacker’s best friend:
Peanut butter is healthy
Before I get the whole fitness squad all up in my grill, I’d like to clarify that while peanut butter is a wonderful source of nutrition, it is also rich in calories so there’s no fairy dust here; if you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. Simple maths. I put this out there in the Universe to pre-empt an avalanche of your nutritionists’ bills addressed to me. That being said, it is safe to guarantee you all that peanut butter is high in protein and healthy oils which help with weight loss, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease – not that a backpacker should have to worry about the last one just yet but if you happen to find yourself in the Australian desert with no recollection of how you got there, may God have mercy on your soul.
If you are hiking and camping in the middle of nowhere with no access to a grocery store so you have to ration your snacks, having a spread that can be used in many ways, it’s delicious and suppresses hunger longer is a life-saver when you have to ration your snacks.
Peanut Butter is versatile
There are endless ways you can consume peanut butter… on the bed, on the floor, on a towel by the door, in the tub, in the car, up against the mini-bar —- No wait, that’s not the right song.
My point is that whilst backpacking, if you have peanut butter, you pretty much have got your basis covered in terms of food:
What do you need if you are craving a snack?
… if you are craving something savoury?
… if you want a sweet?
… if you are feeling week?
… if you’ve got dry skin and you ran out of moisturiser?
Rolled up in a tortilla with dried fruit, dipped with pita bread, straight from a spoon, this wonderful spread never disappoints. You can use it with anything and for anything.
As backpackers, we always carry rice and pasta around in our food bag but the mixers are somewhat more difficult to handle. Tell me honestly if you’ve ever carried a tomato sauce jar in your backpack and not felt like you wanted to throw it against a rock and splash a group of hipsters. Peanut butter is the magical solution to your problems. Why don’t you just have an Asian dish and mix either pasta, noodles or rice with peanut butter? I know this sounds wrong. I thought the same when my Swedish friend suggested it, but once I tried it, I succumbed to this delight. Simply scrumptious. If you still have doubts, just think of the famous Thai peanut sauce. It takes just like that… but better.
And who could forget the warm and gooey peanut butter spread over the classic toast? That’s a great way to start your day alongside a cup of coffee, but it also works wonderfully for supper or a dessert. If you there’s something so wrong with you that you don’t like toasted bread, then opt instead for warming up some bagels or crumpets – the spread will ooze into its little crevices.
This is making me hungry, which leads me to my next point.
Peanut butter is delicious
So there’s not much to say about this. If you don’t like peanut butter, that’s just you and I will feel sorry for you and urge you to get yourself examined by a professional. Either crunchy or smooth, PB is delicious any way you use it, savoury or sweet, whatever you spread it on, whoever you spread it on, it won’t disappoint.
You haven’t lived till you’ve tried Cadbury’s chocolate bar filled with peanut butter; dip it in some hot tea – yeah, you read that right – and indulge yourself in the pleasure of gooey chocolate and peanut butter. And don’t even get me started on peanut butter-flavoured ice cream… It’s so good they even have it in liquid nitrogen ice cream but don’t eat that, it’s alien stuff. For all we know, you might turn into Spiderman afterwards.
This light spread is easily transportable which makes it the ideal food staple when you go on a hike. Although the simple peanut butter jar is practical enough to take on the road, there are many other ways to carry out peanut butter for the trail.
One of those ways is in travel-size squeeze tubes. It does not work very well, however, with natural peanut butter as it tends to separate from the oil, thus you need to beware of leaks.
If you only need a small amount of peanut butter or you rather have it on the go, opt for squeeze packs, which are single-use foil packets that have proved to be the best option for weekend hikers.
Another option is peanut powder mix. This product was created with the needs of backpackers in mind, as it allows you to carry more quantity of compact peanut butter. Whenever you need it, just mix the dry peanut flour with water and stir.